This New NYC Tourist Attraction Has a 'No Skirts' Rule — for a Very Good Reason

As the old saying goes, those who visit glass observatories shouldn't wear skirts.

One brand-new New York City attraction is suggesting one very unusual dress code: no skirts. And it's for your own benefit.

One Vanderbilt is a 93-story skyscraper in New York City's midtown, located on the corner of 42nd Street and Vanderbilt Avenue. While most of the building is occupied as office space, a brand-new observation deck called SUMMIT One Vanderbilt takes up floors 91 through 93.

This attraction is quite different from other NYC observation decks like the Empire State Building, Top of the Rock, One World Observatory, or Edge NYC. SUMMIT is a three-story attraction made mostly of glass and mirrors. The decks are designed so that while you're on a lower level, you can look up and see other visitors floating above you.

Just let that sink in for a moment.

As the old saying goes, those who visit glass observatories shouldn't wear skirts.

The potential issue made itself known when a test group visited SUMMIT before its grand opening on Oct. 21 and the attraction has since updated its website.

Members of the public visit the Summit One Vanderbilt observation deck on October 21, 2021 in New York City.
Spencer Platt/Getty Images

"Guests who are concerned about unwanted exposure as a result of the mirrored floors and ceilings are responsible for dressing in a manner to avoid such exposure," the SUMMIT website reads.

Although pants are not required, they are suggested for more modest visitors. Those who come in kilts or dresses and are unaware of other visitors' potential vantage points can request a free pair of stretchy black shorts upon arrival, USA Today reported.

There is also a "non-reflective privacy path throughout the space" for guests who feel uncomfortable walking over reflective surfaces.

While visitors who show up in a skirt won't be penalized, those who show up in certain shoes might. Guests who arrive in footwear that might damage the mirrored floors "such as stiletto heels and steel-toed boots" will have to change.

"I wanted to make something very different," Kenzo Digital, creator of the observatory's mirrored room, told Travel + Leisure ahead of the opening. "The intention of this [space] is radically different from other observation decks ... I think of it very much as a Central Park in the sky. It's our way of giving back to the city. It's a very primal, sensorial nature experience that could only happen in New York, and more specifically, from this vantage, at this elevation."

Cailey Rizzo is a contributing writer for Travel + Leisure, currently based in Brooklyn. You can find her on Twitter, Instagram, or at

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